Prison museum hit by crime

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For 25 years, Robben Island, a former leper colony off the coast near Cape Town, was notorious as the prison which held Nelson Mandela.

After the release of the ANC leader and the collapse of apartheid, it was reborn as one of South Africa's most popular tourist attractions.

Now the island, described by one ANC activist as encapsulating the meaning of apartheid, has become symbolic not of the triumph of the human spirit but of the deep problems afflicting the Rainbow Nation. Foremost among them: crime, incompetence and corruption.

Managers of the Robben Island Museum, designated as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1999, have been condemned for "gross mismanagement, fraud and outright theft".

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